Looks like the men who once ran Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward aren’t going to let publishers boss them around any more.
Vince Zampella and Jason West, who were fired by Activision at the start of the month over allegations of ‘insubordination’, have signed up Hollywood agency CAA to represent them – a week after they filed a $36m lawsuit alleging wrongful termination of contract.
Creative Artists Agency has been gradually picking up a number of high profile games industry development stars.
[TIMELINE – INFINITY-GATE]
The firm, which hired Xbox co-creator (and former Develop columnist) Seamus Blackley to help out its move into the games space, already acts as agent for Will Wright, Warren Spector, Ken Levine and Tim Schafer’s Double Fine studio.
Outside of games CAA represents a wide array of major Hollywood, sports and entertainment stars, from the likes of Andre Agassi and Warren Beatty to CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker and entrepreneur Donald Trump.
Last year, Blackley described the work done for games clients as "[giving] those guys what they want, and do large deals for them".
CAA had a hand in Spector’s move, and studio sale, to Disney. Will Wright’s break away from EA, and Schafer’s publishing deals.
For Infinity Ward’s Zampella and West, it is presumed CAA will be offering the same kind of represenation, which is in increasing demand as the more high-profile developers choose to negotiate much harder with publishers.
It’s not yet known was West and Zampella plan to do next in games. And as it’s likely we haven’t heard the end of the Call of Duty legal fight – which alleges on one side that the studio was mistreated by its owner, and that the pair were talking to other publishers on the other side – it’s a safe bet we won’t know for a while.
But when the two are ready to perhaps form a new studio, or join a new publisher – the company that wants to sign them up just might not be the one in control of negotiations this time, even if they are the ones signing the cheques.